Assessment at ICC
Student learning is the cornerstone of Independence Community College's mission and we are committed to continuous improvement in order to provide the best possible service. All members of the institution share responsibility for student learning thus ensuring that the continuous improvement of learning is a collaborative enterprise upon which the success of instruction depends.
To determine how well students learn what is being taught, faculty develop and use a systematic process to assess student academic achievement. Faculty members assess student learning at the course, program, and institutional level; thus, in each course, and for each program, faculty members identify the student learning outcomes that are appropriate for that learning experience. This assessment takes place throughout a student's academic career.
Assessment activities are a critical component of successful teaching. Faculty members analyze the results so they can develop strategies to help improve student learning in the future. Faculty are also engaged in the assessment of general education outcomes embedded in their programs. Assessment results help guide faculty as they continuously improve teaching, learning, courses, programs, curriculum, and future assessment.
Student Learning Outcomes
Student Learning Outcomes Assessment is a deliberate, systematic, and collaborative process driven by the College's commitment to improve student learning. It is a purposeful course of action that defines student accomplishments in terms of expected learning outcomes and core competencies. Actual student achievement is measured using established internal standards and external benchmarks. Faculty members develop direct and indirect measures to determine if these outcomes are being achieved. They use tests, research papers, projects, presentations, or standardized examinations to discover how well students who have passed a course actually achieved the expected learning goals. The outcomes assessment process is learning-centered and accumulates data from numerous sources to determine what students know, what skills they possess, how they conceptualize, and how they will continue to learn. The overall goal of assessment is to create a quality learning environment under ideal conditions through the use of best practices that inspire creativity, innovation, and critical thinking.
Institutional Learning Outcomes
Institutional Student Learning Outcomes align with the ICC Mission Statement, and have been endorsed by the Faculty Association and voted into policy by the Board of Trustees. It is with these outcomes in mind that Academic Affairs and Student Services programs develop assessable program and course outcomes. The four broad institutional student learning outcomes at ICC are:
- Thinking: Stakeholders will demonstrate the ability to think critically, to evaluate information analytically, and to use ideas in creative and innovative ways.
- Communication: Stakeholders will demonstrate the ability to express ideas and information effectively.
- Literacy: Stakeholders will demonstrate the ability to master concepts and terminology.
- Responsibility: Stakeholders will demonstrate the ability to reason ethically as responsible citizens.
The institutional outcomes assessment process at ICC includes annual cross-curricular assessment of a general education outcome as well as academic and administrative/student support unit program level assessment.
General Education Learning Outcomes
An education prepares a student both for life and for making a living. It blends the practical application of knowledge with the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. When successful, education balances the sometimes contradictory claims of social service and individual ambition.
A good general education fosters freedom's values and nurtures individual growth. It lays the foundation for further learning in a discipline or vacation, provides the tools to navigate change, and prepares one for lifelong learning.
The purpose of general education at ICC is to shape the development of students according to these values. Students fulfill general education requirements at Independence Community College by demonstrating competency in the following:
- Arts and Humanities: The student will be able to appreciate and understand the arts and the humanities.
- Civic Responsibility: The student will be able to develop a civic identity that promotes the quality of life in a community.
- Communication: The student will be able to communicate effectively.
- Computer Literacy: the student will be able to demonstrate proficiency in a variety of digital technologies.
- Information Literacy: The student will be able to locate, evaluate, and use information.
- Quantitative and Scientific Reasoning: The student will be able to use processes, procedures, data, or evidence to solve problems.
- Social and Behavioral Sciences: The student will be able to apply knowledge about people to solve problems.
Program Learning Outcomes
All programs have identified learning outcomes that describe the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students develop through successful completion of the program. Program Outcomes are listed on the college website.
Assessment at ICC is based on the following principles:
- Assessment is an ongoing process that leads to change and improvement.
- Assessment is not a task solely performed as a requirement of accrediting agencies - the reason for assessment is improvement.
- The use of data to support change leads to the most meaningful improvements.
- Assessment raises as many questions as it answers.
- Assessment focuses the attention of the College on continuous quality improvement.
The Independence Community College Outcomes Assessment Committee
Provide recommendations and implementation that move the College toward a comprehensive outcomes assessment culture.
Provide educational programs to the campus regarding outcomes assessment theory and practice. Adopt at least one annual assessment project or component of a multi-year project, and coordinate that project to completion. Recommend College policy regarding implementation of outcomes assessment.
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